#1
This is a request.
I have to make a solo for a oriental/arabic/hard rock song. It is crucial that it has a oriental feel to it. Therefore, I would like to learn a wide variety of styles used in oriental music.

I was very unsuccessful with searching for instrumental oriental & arabic music with guitar (Yes, I did use the search function before posting).

I would appreciate if anyone could provide any links to instrumental songs, can also be mixed with other genres, preferably with guitar, looking for some good-sounding solos.

Thank you in advance!

Something like this, but without the poor quality sound and not improvised:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibcAbqs75hY&feature=related
#3
Quote by Hail

I fail to see how this has anything to do with oriental music, but thanks for the reply anyway!

Quote by Hail
also, play harmonic minor

Yes, I will play in harmonic minor, forgot to mention. Was thinking about oriental, arabic and persian scales but there is no way I can fit that in there without ruining the whole song or completely changing the harmony.
#4
Doesn't matter what scales you use really, you need to learn how to effectively use the notes to get the right sound before you can get anywhere near what you want.

Try finding traditional music from the areas you want to emulate and listen for the nuances that really make it sound the way it does whether that's leaning on certain tones over certain chords or attacking the notes a particular way. It's true there will be limited ways in which you can transfer from one to the other but there should be some characteristics that you can make work.
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#5
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Try finding traditional music from the areas you want to emulate and listen for the nuances that really make it sound the way it does


Thanks for advice. That's what I'm trying to do, however most of the music I find is some soft background with vocals over it also obviously nothing with guitar. That's why I asked for help here on UG.
#6
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Doesn't matter what scales you use really, you need to learn how to effectively use the notes to get the right sound before you can get anywhere near what you want.


definitely true, but for the sake of a band-aid fix harmonic would be the easiest to pull a 'foreign' sound out of, as well as most odd-accidentals of the minor scale.

try to use a lot of intervalic play without thinking of a 'scale' as a whole, that tends to help as well
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#7
Thanks for help guys. I am not really into metal, but found a nice list of arabic metal bands that seem to have what I'm looking for.
Here is one example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf7i6UB5vGw

Edit: Nah, listened to some more songs, not really what I'm looking for. xD
Will keep searching though.
Last edited by Daew at Oct 24, 2011,
#9
Quote by Daew
Thanks for advice. That's what I'm trying to do, however most of the music I find is some soft background with vocals over it also obviously nothing with guitar. That's why I asked for help here on UG.


So you want to skip out on transcribing the most purely expressive instrument that humanity has because it's not a guitar?

I said you should transcribe parts from other instruments as well and I meant it; most other cultures don't have a direct equivalent to the guitar so you're not going to have much luck. You need to transcribe parts from other instruments or you won't be able to find what you're looking for in actual foreign music.
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#11
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
So you want to skip out on transcribing the most purely expressive instrument that humanity has because it's not a guitar?


Well I don't really want to transcribe vocal, if that's your point. And I doubt I would benefit much from it, but yes I'm down with transcribing other instruments.
The problem is that, since I don't know any traditional song names or present authors, I can only search for keywords such as "oriental/arabic" and similar. Therefore I get a very limited picture of whats out there and could be learned.

Quote by apajr
take the harmonic minor and harmonic major scale and jam

Those are the scales that bring the oriental sound


Yes, that's what I did, only that I learned all modes so I can play on entire fretboard. But I am limited to my knowledge of other genres therefore whatever I play sounds only a little oriental and not full on oriental, as it should. For this reason I am searching to learn some oriental stuff so I can develop feeling for it therefore making my improvisation sounding more like it.
#12
Quote by Daew
Well I don't really want to transcribe vocal, if that's your point. And I doubt I would benefit much from it, but yes I'm down with transcribing other instruments.
The problem is that, since I don't know any traditional song names or present authors, I can only search for keywords such as "oriental/arabic" and similar. Therefore I get a very limited picture of whats out there and could be learned.


You're wrong. If you can get the inflections of a vocal down on guitar then how is that anything other than a good thing? Especially if you can identify the inflections in it that make it sound the distinctive way it does, you can then apply those concepts to whatever you're doing and have access to that sound when ever you find you need it.

Also: http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&source=hp&biw=1440&bih=783&q=traditional+arabic+music&oq=traditional+ara&aq=0&aqi=g10&aql=1&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=524l3116l0l4394l15l12l0l4l4l0l165l654l6.2l8l0 Seems to be plenty of pages and information there, are you new to the internet or do you just not want to do any actual research?
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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#13
Ooo. Harsh but true.

There really should not be a need for a guitar part in the music for you to be able to draw some musical ideas from it and apply it to your guitar. What's important is being able to spot some distinctive characteristics of the music and mimick it on your instrument. You certainly won't be able to do it without some *appriciation* for the music. It kind of sounds like you're looking for an easy way out by seeking a western guitar part in foreign music.

You *wont* likely "sound middle eastern" by playing harmonic minor. You're more likely to invoke Bach that way than Ravi Shankar.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Oct 25, 2011,
#14
Quote by Brainpolice2
Ooo. Harsh but true.

There really should not be a need for a guitar part in the music for you to be able to draw some musical ideas from it and apply it to your guitar. What's important is being able to spot some distinctive characteristics of the music and mimick it on your instrument. You certainly won't be able to do it without some *appriciation* for the music. It kind of sounds like you're looking for an easy way out by seeking a western guitar part in foreign music.

You *wont* likely "sound middle eastern" by playing harmonic minor. You're more likely to invoke Bach that way than Ravi Shankar.


Yeah, you are right. Not much I can benefit from western bands playing oriental stuff. So I listened & transcribed some traditional songs. Interesting thing is also that I noticed that a great deal of traditional arabic songs are not even in harmonic minor...
Also, thanks for the Ravi Shenkar refference. Didn't know him before, he is Indian but still relevant.
#15
Quote by Daew
Well I don't really want to transcribe vocal, if that's your point. And I doubt I would benefit much from it, but yes I'm down with transcribing other instruments.
The problem is that, since I don't know any traditional song names or present authors, I can only search for keywords such as "oriental/arabic" and similar. Therefore I get a very limited picture of whats out there and could be learned.

And that's why you'll fail at this until you open your mind.

A note is a note, if the music you're looking to mimic doesn't use a guitar then you have to transcribe whichever instrument carries the melody and allows you to identify the characteristic notes and intervals and indeed the way they're articulated - the vocals is just another instrument.
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#16
Yeah, you are right. Not much I can benefit from western bands playing oriental stuff. So I listened & transcribed some traditional songs. Interesting thing is also that I noticed that a great deal of traditional arabic songs are not even in harmonic minor...


I really have no idea where the suggestion of harmonic minor is coming from in the first place. At best, people might be thinking of the 5th mode of harmonic minor (phrygian dominant) as a cliche "middle eastern sound", and that's a start, but it barely scratches the surface of what's usually going on melodically in such music.
#17
Quote by Brainpolice2
I really have no idea where the suggestion of harmonic minor is coming from in the first place. At best, people might be thinking of the 5th mode of harmonic minor (phrygian dominant) as a cliche "middle eastern sound", and that's a start, but it barely scratches the surface of what's usually going on melodically in such music.


I was just going off of the link in the OP, which was based around the harmonic minor. Obviously scales don't determine the feel of a piece, but half-step intervals are very easy to manipulate for a foreign feel and the harmonic minor has 3 incidents of that.
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#18
I was just going off of the link in the OP, which was based around the harmonic minor. Obviously scales don't determine the feel of a piece, but half-step intervals are very easy to manipulate for a foreign feel and the harmonic minor has 3 incidents of that.


Thanks for clarifying. I didn't click the link.
#19
Quote by Hail
I was just going off of the link in the OP, which was based around the harmonic minor. Obviously scales don't determine the feel of a piece, but half-step intervals are very easy to manipulate for a foreign feel and the harmonic minor has 3 incidents of that.


Yes, noticed that as well. If you use the harmonic minor and don't play around with -2 intervals, it sounds NOTHING LIKE oriental music. Also, the melody is usually very linear, no big jumps, and always finishes on some half-step interval. Still need to figure what is the key which makes a melody sound oriental, or not sound oriental.
#20
Quote by Daew
Yes, noticed that as well. If you use the harmonic minor and don't play around with -2 intervals, it sounds NOTHING LIKE oriental music. Also, the melody is usually very linear, no big jumps, and always finishes on some half-step interval. Still need to figure what is the key which makes a melody sound oriental, or not sound oriental.


I think I just got called out twice for saying a key/scale determines a feel for a piece

There are tons of variables and it's just a matter, in the long run, of analyzing foreign music at length. But if you do that in full, it'd be a lot of time and work for a solo for one song in your band

Plus, realize that a lot of 'eastern music' (more in the middle east, india, etc. than the orient, but nonetheless) use a lot of intervals that are foreign to us, including quarter steps. I vaguely recall Ibanez releasing a guitar geared toward these non-western styles a few years back, but it more of an expensive toy than anything.
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#21
Not the specific style you're looking for, but listening to how he approached a similar idea may help you.

1:10 onwards. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFowXaMFPCg&ob=av2e

I decided to watch the whole thing in the end. It's worth watching.
Last edited by mdc at Oct 26, 2011,
#22
Quote by mdc
Not the specific style you're looking for, but listening to how he approached a similar idea may help you.

1:10 onwards. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFowXaMFPCg&ob=av2e

I decided to watch the whole thing in the end. It's worth watching.


Thanks.

@Hail: Yup, I don't really have to time to study oriental music for months. I just need to make ONE solo that has a LITTLE oriental feel to it. But anyway, taking 2 weeks to learn something about these styles will do me only good.

Thanks for all the responses guys.